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And So It Begins: Dime’s NBA Draft Diary With Isaiah Thomas

By 05.18.11
Isaiah Thomas

Isaiah Thomas (design. Ryan Hurst)


After leading Washington to back-to-back conference titles in the Pac-10 Tournament over the last two seasons, junior Isaiah Thomas (who also claimed back-to-back conference MOP honors in those same title runs) decided the time was right to test his talents on another level: the NBA. During his time in Seattle, the 5-9 guard was nothing short of an offensive force. After averaging 16.9 points and 3.9 assists a game as a sophomore, he returned this season to drop 16.8 and 6.1 per and navigate UW to a Sweet Sixteen appearance in the NCAA Tournament. And as the kid embarks on his journey away from college and into the pros, we wanted to give him his own space, and voice, to roam. So, follow along with Isaiah on his Dime NBA Draft Diary; here’s his first entry…

What’s up everyone? First and foremost I want to thank Dime for inviting me to do this diary documenting my draft process. I promise you it will be well worth the read, so come follow me on my journey!

I am currently in the process of fulfilling a lifelong dream of mine, which is to play in the NBA. It’s a very busy time for me and I’m working my tail off to ensure that I am in the best shape possible going into these team workouts. As soon as our season ended in a disappointing second round loss to North Carolina in the NCAA Tournament, I took a week off to clear my head and come to a final decision as to if I was going to either enter the draft or not. I didn’t see any reason to just “test,” because if you are really going to put your all into something this important, you are either “in” or “out.”

There can’t be any sitting on the fence.

I met with and sought advice from my close circle of family and friends, which includes my mom and dad, my girlfriend, my coaches, my teammates, my mentors (Isiah Thomas, Damon Stoudamire and Gary Payton) my brothers (Jason Terry, Carlton & Alonzo Weatherby and Nate Robinson) and my HomeTeam bros (Jamal Crawford, Brandon Roy and Will Conroy). I took their opinions and advice, and decided that its time for me to make the “jump.”

My first stop was to Dallas to train with a mentor of mine, Jason Terry. JET’s one of the most well conditioned players in the NBA and is a highly respected vet. Who better to get in shape and get my mind right for this process with?

After working out with JET in the heat and humidity in Dallas, I then traveled to Las Vegas to train with Joe Abunassar at Impact. Joe does an excellent job with players, and there I trained with a lot of other guys chasing this same dream. Guys like Josh Selby (Kansas), Malcolm Lee (UCLA), Jacob Pullen (Kansas State), Jordan Williams (Maryland), Greg Smith (Fresno State), Jon Diebler (Ohio State), etc.


I was also fortunate to be invited to a group workout in New Jersey at the Nets’ practice facility. It was my first official NBA workout and I was excited to get in there to prove myself. Every NBA team was present and closely watching our every move. It was a good chance for me to get a feel of what to expect from here on out.

I’m currently back in Dallas with JET, sharpening up certain aspects of my game and getting my mind right for the Pre-Draft Combine in Chicago. I can’t wait to get out there, meet with teams and to do all of the testing that is involved. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and I plan on taking full advantage of every second. This past weekend, I also went through the process of hiring my agent, which was long and hard. It’s probably one of the biggest decisions I’ve ever made and it wasn’t easy at all. I hired Byron Irvin (Lagardere Unlimited), and am looking forward to getting things going with him.

I want to end this diary with a special shout out to Jamal Crawford and Jason Terry, because without their advice and never-ending support of me, I wouldn’t be this close to achieving my dreams. Gotta get back in the gym ya’ll, June 23rd is right around the corner. Until next time…

Follow Isaiah on Twitter at @Isaiah_Thomas2.

Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.

Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.


TAGSBRANDON ROYByron IrvinCarlton WeatherbyCOLLEGEDamon StoudamireGARY PAYTONgreg smithISAIAH THOMASISIAH THOMASJacob PullenJamal CrawfordJASON TERRYJoe AbunassarJon DieblerJordan WilliamsJosh SelbyMalcolm LeeNATE ROBINSONNBA DRAFTUNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTONWASHINGTONWill Conroy

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